Students Protest for Trans Rights on Streets of Chickasha


Emily Loughridge

Student protester Meagan Clark, along with Fall Kornele and Chandler Leamon-Webb, waved at passing cars and held their signs high as they protested the Millstone Act.

Anastasia Dulle, Contributing Writer

On February 7th, USAO students plan to raise awareness of infringements upon transgender rights by protesting in Chickasha on 17th Street from 2-6 p.m. This protest was planned and arranged by Berrielle Ostermayer, a second-year Theater major, with support from the campus club Students for a Progressive Society (SPS) in response to recent Oklahoma legislature that seeks to limit access to gender-affirming healthcare. The most recent and aggressive of these legislative measures is Oklahoma Senate Bill 129, also known as the Millstone Act, which Senator Bullard introduced on January 4th of 2023. If passed, this bill will prohibit people under the age of 26 from being able to receive gender transition healthcare services by making it a felony for healthcare professionals to refer or provide such procedures to anyone below the age of 26.

By holding a protest of the Millstone Act in Chickasha, Ostermayer hopes to raise local awareness of the presence and importance of transgender people in the community as well as the danger posed by legislature that seeks to infringe upon their identities and bodily autonomy.

“I think [protesting will] help local trans kids realize that they’re not alone,” Ostermayer stated.

Noting that trans people are often demonized in the media, Ostermayer adds that she hopes to show the wider Chickasha community that “the bills they’re trying to pass that are very anti-trans are hurting people in our community, locally, who are just normal people who you might see just walking around at Walmart or whatever. Like, these are citizens of Chickasha, they’re citizens of Oklahoma. They’re just innocent people trying to live their lives.”

Ostermayer went on to emphasize that a number of USAO students would be directly impacted and greatly harmed by their access to hormones being removed by the passage of the Millstone Act.

“If a bill like that passed it could be literally life-ruining for some people whose mental state is helped greatly by having access to healthcare. Because that’s really what it is – we just want access to healthcare the same as anyone else; we’re adults, we should have autonomy over our medical decisions,” said Ostermayer.

The campus protest garnered support from both students and other passersby, including a transgender student from Chickasha high school who expressed their appreciation for the protestors. Ostermayer and SPS plan to hold a second protest in about a month.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 129 was read in the State Capitol for consideration on February 6th. More information about the bill can be found at the following sources:

Senate Bill 129

The Hill

Oklahoma Senate

The Black Wall Street Times


Anastasia Dulle is a third-year Sociology major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.